Earlier this year Google announced that AdWords advertisers would be treated to a much wider range of advertising options and capability. Now available to all, enhanced campaigns are a great way to make PPC dollars work that much harder and more intuitively. Becoming accustomed to enhanced campaigns can take some getting used to. Strategically speaking, they are a little more complex than simply creating an ad group, adding keywords and writing an ad text, but the payoffs are much bigger in terms of relevance, return, and overall performance.
So what are enhanced campaigns and what are the most attention-worthy of the new additions?
What is an enhanced campaign?
When Google announced these new additions to the AdWords platform, hyper-connectivity was cited as the inspiration behind the changes. The search engine says that according to a recent study, 90% of consumers consistently move between one device and another to communicate, shop, and access games and other forms of entertainment. As well as the traditional desktop PC and laptop, we now go online via tablets and smartphones, mini-tablets, televisions, and hybrids. Using this as its starting point and rationale, Google created enhanced campaigns, which allow advertisers to consider the where, when, and how of internet connection and then show a specific advertisement according to these criteria. Options available to advertisers include location, time of day, and type of device.
The example Google gives is that of a pizza place. Google argues that the pizza place’s marketing manager most likely wants to show one ad to a user searching from their office at lunchtime and a different ad (perhaps focusing on the nearest restaurant to the user in the chain) to a user searching for pizza places on a smartphone at 10 pm in the evening.
What are the new features available via enhanced campaigns?
1. Device and location based bids
The advent of iPads, iPhones, and Blackberrys makes it possible to access the internet on the go, meaning it’s much easier to search for places or services while actually en-route. The extended marketing capabilities offered by enhanced campaigns allows the ad manager to take both the device and location into consideration when setting a bid. It means advertisers can bid more or less dependent on the search user’s proximity to their business. Bids can be based on a combination of factors such as time of day, device used for the search, geographical location when the search is performed, and the type of device used.
For those advertisers to whom proximity matters – such as food outlets and services such as launderettes – bids can be higher when the search comes from within a certain radius or device type. For example, bids can be set to be 50% higher when the search comes in from a quarter mile around the business premises or 75% higher when the search is done on a smartphone.
2. Advertisements can be optimized by context
Google used to tell its advertisers that AdWords put products or services in front of the consumer at the exact moment they are looking to buy. With enhanced campaigns, it takes this one step further and allows advertisers to specify different advertisements depending on how they are looking to buy. Ads for those searching on a smartphone, for example, may include a click-to-call feature, while those searching on a desktop may see an advertisement with a web-based catalog set as the landing page for easier online shopping.
3. Advanced Reporting
Of course, with more data and more ad configurations comes the need for more advanced reporting. To help bridge the gap, AdWords reporting will allow advertisers to monitor new types of data which would previously have been harder to measure, such as the number of times an app has been downloaded or the click-to-call function on an advertisement used.
Additions such as those made by Google to its AdWords program are an attempt by Google to keep advertisers happy and provide them with ways to maximize their ad dollars. If you are advertising online, you need to keep a close eye on the different types of devices that will be showing your ads to prospective customers and ensure that you are taking advantage of every possible opportunity to send relevant and actionable messages their way. Google continues to roll out different aspects of this initiative as time ticks down to their deadline of July 22, 2013, when they will begin upgrading all AdWords accounts to the new format/capabilities. It will be time well-spent investigating the enhanced campaign options and figuring out how to maximize the flexibility they bring for your ad campaigns prior to that date.
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